Allen Explains Why Oil-Sucking Tankers Aren’t Being Used

By Evan Harris

Jun 6, 2010 9:07am

After a 1993 oil spill in the Persian Gulf, empty oil tankers were used to reclaim oil from the water’s surface.  In my “This Week” interview, I asked Admiral Thad Allen why those techniques are not being used in the Gulf of Mexico, and he explained: 

“We’ve actually talked to those folks.  There are a couple of issues with that.  Number one, the tankers actually have to be modified.  They are not ready to go right now.  Number two, we don’t know what those modifications will do to the stability of the vessels and how they operate and number thee, the area of operations is very, very different.  We’ve got anywhere from 20 to 30 vessels within one square mile over the top of that well at any particular time, managing remotely operating vehicles, doing the drilling of the relief well and so forth, so I’m not sure it’s the right application of that right now.”


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